A record number of fans consumed exclusive 2009 Bassmaster Classic content featured across BASS and ESPN's vast multimedia vehicles. The multimedia blitz was supplemented by a record on-site crowd of 137,700 fans at daily tournament weigh-ins and surrounding festivities, obliterating the previous record set in New Orleans by more than 55,000.
"By all metrics, including the compelling content that was delivered to fans worldwide, the Bassmaster Classic was an absolute success," said Tom Ricks, vice president and general manager, BASS. "The continued growth of the Classic is a testament to the personalities and story lines associated with our athletes."
The event, held on the Red River, was won by Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., who collected the $500,000 top prize from the $1.2 million purse. The Classic was hosted by Shreveport-Bossier City. The events' successes this year included:
On Bassmaster.com, BASSInsider.com and ESPN.com, fans generated more than 12.3 million page views of bass fishing content between Feb. 18 and Feb. 23 — 64% higher than the same period last year.
Live, streaming video of the daily Classic weigh-ins were presented on ESPN360.com for the first time, and fishing fans watched more than 1 million minutes of weigh-in coverage during the event. The Classic was one of the most watched sporting events of the month on ESPN360.com.
ESPN's Mike Golic and Erik Kuselias helped kick off the Classic with a live broadcast of ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike in the Morning from Red River South Marina on Friday, Feb. 20, 6-10 a.m. ET. The live broadcast from the Red River South Marina was delivered to the show's 418,000 daily listeners on 220 radio stations nationwide and simulcast on ESPN2 reaching another 232,000 viewers — an increase of 31% vs 2008.
The 12 hours of ESPN2 coverage included a 3% increase in the Male 18+ demographic (.36 vs .35) and in Male 18+ Impressions (337,309)
For the first time, a Bassmaster Classic mini-marathon aired on ESPN Classic on Feb. 22. The final hour of the five hours of coverage received the highest ESPN Classic rating of 2009.
From an international perspective, ESPN International will air the 2009 Classic on the following networks: ESPN Africa (sub-Saharan Africa), ESPN Middle East (ME & North Africa), ESPN Israel, ESPN Pac Rim (Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands), ESPN 2 Caribbean ESPN Dos (Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, Dominican Rep). The Bassmaster Classic will reach 10.1 million household in 106 countries on ESPN networks.
From a media perspective, a Classic record, since ESPN purchased BASS in 2001, of more than 320 working media members attended the 2009 Bassmaster Classic. On-site media included publications such as The Dallas Morning News, Miami Herald, San Diego Union Tribune, South Florida Sun Sentinel, Arkansas Democrat Gazette and Austin American Statesman.
Bassmaster Classic sponsors: Toyota, Berkley, BOOYAH, Evan Williams Bourbon, Mercury, OPTIMA Batteries, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards
For more information, contact BASS Communications at 407-566-2208.